Stoke City make big kit decision for season after next

Stoke City have become one of the first clubs in English football to unveil their new home kit for the 2024/25 season but it is going some that the club has announced today that the design has been selected for 2025/26.

The new home strip for next season has attracted record sales during its first weekend, says the club, in what is the ninth strip in a row to be made in collaboration with Macron.

But there will be a break with the norm for the season after next as supporters have been drafted on board to help select how it will look. A first fan assembly was held in March to canvas opinion about what makes a perfect Stoke kit and feedback was relayed to the designers. A second assembly was then held in May, with a selection of concepts created for supporters to discuss, debate and eventually vote for their favourite. There was apparently "a clear winner".

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The club said in a statement: "The designs that were voted on varied from the traditional to the non-traditional and they created much debate in the room. In the end, however, the poll revealed a clear winner, with the kit to be produced in the coming months and launched in the summer of 2025."

This has proven a popular initiative from chief operating officer Simon King, who has got his hands full this summer overseeing major work at the bet365 Stadium, including relocating away supporters to put home fans behind both goals, installing licensed standing and building a new £1.5m fan zone behind the Boothen End.

He said: “We have enjoyed two invaluable, thought-provoking sessions with supporters, which have ultimately shaped the design of the new kit for 25/26. Throughout the two meetings there was much debate and wide-ranging views, though, once the final designs were created, there was a clear winner from the supporters’ vote.

“The process reaffirmed our belief that effective two-way dialogue is massively beneficial for Club and supporters and can lead to well-informed decisions. When it comes to revealing the 25/26 kit this time next year, fans will be fully engaged with the launch in the knowledge that it was created based directly upon their insight.”

Stoke are planning to host at least four four fan assemblies each season to discuss timely topics. They are also inviting applications for the new Stoke City Connect supporter panel. The closing date for entries is 9am on Monday, June 10.

Club legend Ryan Shawcross, who attended the first fan assembly, had debated what makes a perfect Stoke kit during his season as a Sentinel columnist.

He said: "I like red and white, hooped socks. The whole kit should be majority white."

"We had some stinking colours for away kits by the way," he added.

What makes the perfect Stoke kit? Have your say in the comments section